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WestFest security to tighten after Manchester atrocity

Last year's Westfest attracted a 10,000 strong crowd.
Last year's Westfest attracted a 10,000 strong crowd.

Extra security measures are being put in place at Dundee’s WestFest Big Sunday event in the wake of the Manchester terrorist attack.

Organisers have warned of potential delays for people trying to access the site, after additional security arrangements were introduced following the atrocity which killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert at the MEN Arena.

These measures are in addition to metal fences which are being erected around the site for the first time and a clampdown on visitors bringing their own alcohol to the event.

The fences will begin to be put in place on Magdalen Green on Friday.

Following discussions with Police Scotland and the city council, WestFest chairman Ged Gourlay said he hopes festival-goers will appreciate the extra security measures aimed at reassuring the public and ensuring a safe afternoon of music and entertainment for all the family.

He stressed that while the arrangements should not put a dampener on everyone’s enjoyment, people should remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity immediately.

He said: “WestFest are working alongside Police Scotland to keep people safe and allow everyone to enjoy this year’s event.

“As you will appreciate, with the threat level from international terrorism currently at severe, additional security measures are being put in place at WestFest, as they are at events throughout the country.

“Please be aware that these measures may mean some delays on entering the event to allow staff to carry out any searches that may be required.

“Please work with the stewards and police officers in terms of the necessary measures that will be in place.

“Your assistance and understanding is appreciated and we would urge everyone to be vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to the police by calling the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789321 or in an emergency by dialling 999.”

In addition to the increased security measures at WestFest Big Sunday, festival-goers are reminded no alcohol will be allowed to be taken into the festival and only alcohol bought from the event’s bars can be consumed.

Mr Gourlay added: “This is to comply with the local bylaw preventing anyone from drinking alcohol in public areas. Although in previous years this was a feature of the event, due to the massive increase in crowds over the past few years, Police Scotland and Dundee City Council were unwilling to turn a blind eye to people drinking illegally on Magdalen Green.

“We are however providing more bars this year and prices have been kept to a maximum of £3.50.

“People can, of course, still bring their picnics and sealed soft drinks to consume at the event.

“We are hoping for good weather and for everyone to come along and enjoy yet another fantastic WestFest Big Sunday.”

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